Thursday, June 08, 2006

Ambrose Successfully Undermining Kyoto

I read this article detailing Ambrose's latest comments on the Kyoto negotiations:
Rich and poor countries are at an impasse over how to proceed in the battle to curb climate change, says Environment Minister Rona Ambrose...

"At Bonn, the developed countries including Canada reached a consensus that they would not take on further commitments until the developing world also considered targets," she said.

"The developing nations on the other hand reached a consensus and held firmly to the position they will not take on such commitments.

"This will be the crux of the debate on Kyoto in the next few years."

Ambrose outlines the disconnect between the industrialized world and the emerging economies on how to proceed. This sentiment would be justified, if not for the fact that the impasse is largely a result of Ambrose's own actions:
Canada has stirred up the controversy because it is the first developed country to say publicly that it cannot meet its target. This provides fuel for developing countries who say the rich countries aren't sincere about cutting emissions.

Ambrose laments the wedge, which is ironic considering she is the root cause. Where is the moral leverage to demand other nations cut emissions, when one of the major polluters has no intention of implementing targeted cuts? Canada's hedging allows cover for other nations, who rightfully can point to the hypocrisy. Clearly, Canada is a cancer within the Kyoto talks and we are now seeing concrete ramifications. While the Tories try to save political face at home by "staying at the table", they effectively kill any hope of unanimity with their dual purposes. It is simply amazing to hear Ambrose speak of a divide, as though she is a detached observer, rather than the driving force.


Scruffy Dan said...

I think Ambrose is being honest in that we can't make our Kyoto targets...

The conservatives have not helped matters, but it was the liberals that failed to implement a plan on how to reach the emissions targets when Kyoto was signed.

This should not be used as an excuse to give up on Kyoto however; this should be an excuse to try harder.

Steve V said...

Important to remember that Ambrose was fighting against Kyoto for Klein before the Liberals "failed". There is a deeper motive at play here and the answer lies within the economics of dirty resources. Ambrose is somewhat honest about Canada's predicament, but her willingness to throw in the towel belies something else.

Mark Francis said...

Alberta produces more greenhouse gasses than Ontario due to the oil industry there. Production at the Tar Sands is looking to triple by 2015.

Ambrose and harper don't want to stand in the way of that.

So if we are to meet our targets, the rest of Canada will have to compensate for Alberta's excesses. I doubt that we'll get paid by Alberta to do so... though we would under an emissions trading system. Hmmmm....

As for the world, it makes sense that the West has to clean up its act first wrt greenhouse gas emissions because we're the ones that caused it. For goodness sake, Canada emits more than most or all of Africa!

Ambrose is very fond of saying that China is the second worse emiter, but that's only because of it's huge population. The average chinese emits one-tenth (or less) than that of the average Canadian.

I expect our government to do its best to meet the targets.

No excuses.

Steve V said...

"Ambrose is very fond of saying that China is the second worse emiter, but that's only because of it's huge population. The average chinese emits one-tenth (or less) than that of the average Canadian."

Great point.

talk talk talk said...

I agree with scruffy dan in that Ambrose is telling the truth and with steve v's point about motives.

In following this story, I think it's sad for Canada that the government is not only scratching the miserable amount of progress we've made, but also missing out on aggressively funding research and practical development of alternative fuel sources, which it could then market at a subsidy (which they could make a part of foreign aid) to developing nations to replace their CO2 and particle-belching vehicles (as a start). That would help us solve global warming and global dimming not just for ourselves, but also for populous countries. It would also help our economy, create jobs, get us back on the R&D track, and boost our foreign aid in a productive manner. It may even counter the effects of the Tar Sands emissions.

Well, I can dream.